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All I can see is darkness. All I can hear is the constant 2-beat melody emitting from within my chest. It's steady and repetitive, similar to a human heart. Other than that and the gentle hum of machinery, silence.

"Are we ready to begin?" A female voice asks. The sound of fingers pressing keys fills the empty space between question and answer.

"Almost, I need to calibrate…" A male voice replies, followed by more typing. I can hear small beeps among the tapping, yet nothing more. The only sense I can rely on is my hearing. I had tried several times before to open my eyes, each attempt resulting in failure. Suddenly, a stream of sound intercepts the small beeps, followed by the male voice.

"Okay, calibrated,"


"Subject is responding normally," The female voice states. Is she referring to me? If so, why am I a subject? There is no reply to my internal questions, only the sound of conversation and the whirs of machinery growing louder.

"Ok, let’s begin," The male voice continues.

"Machine starts…" Another male voice says. The humming grows louder, almost as if it's drawing closer to me. There are more voices, but their words barely audible - lost underneath the songs of the machines. As the pace of the engines increase, so does the beating in my chest. The gentle echoes become deafening whirring as the technology starts up properly. I can't put my finger on what is going on, so all I can do is go along with it.

"Signal is stable," The first male voice says. Signal? The words spoken by the voices only pique my curiosity further.

"Subject is ready," The female voice responds. With that sentence, I feel my body begin to pulse with an unknown force. The pressure is lifting from my limbs, the darkness fading. Suddenly, I am hit by a blinding light and I open my eyes. I am alive.


"Machine is up to speed and is within all parameters," The second male voice continues. Even with my sight I can’t pinpoint the source of the voices. I am surrounded by light, and nothing more.

"Subject is awake - vitals are good," A deeper voice rings out. Looking around, all that my eyes take in is white, pure and clean. Yet what does he mean by "vitals are good"? More importantly… where am I?

"Cassandra, can you hear me?" The first male voice asks. Is that my name? Assuming that he’s talking to me, I decide to respond.


"Are you ready to begin?"

I don’t know. Am I ready? Am I prepared for what could possibly lie ahead? Without little to no consideration, I reply.

"Yes. I’m ready,"